Rajnath Singh is new president of BJP
MDT/PTI 23 January 2013

Rajnath Singh emerged as the consensus candidate last night after Gadkari dramatically opted out of the race for a second term. He takes the baton back from Gadkari whom he handed it over in 2009

 

New Delhi: Rajnath Singh was on Wednesday unanimously elected president of thet Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), capping last minute dramatic turn of events which saw Nitin Gadkari being forced out of the race for the second term, reports PTI.

 

The 61-year-old senior party leader from Uttar Pradesh takes the baton back from Nitin Gadkari whom he handed over the post in 2009.

 

Singh, who emerged as the consensus candidate last night after Gadkari dramatically opted out of the race for a second term, was the only candidate to file the nominations and was declared elected unopposed.

 

Gadkari was among the first ones to wish the new party president soon after the announcement by election officer Thawar Chand Gehlot in the presence of top party leaders including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.

 

Gadkari, whose candidature was being pushed strongly by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), suddenly quit the race in the midst of allegations of impropriety by his company Purti Group.

 

After taking over, Rajnath Singh said, “I accept this not as a post, but as a responsibility” and said he would take the battle to a decisive end by bringing the BJP to power.

 

He said he was taking over in not very conducive conditions in the wake of allegations levelled against the outgoing chief Nitin Gadkari.

 

Singh said though the party wanted Gadkari to continue as party president for a second term, but he took a moral high by deciding not to contest for a second term till his name was cleared of all charges.

 

The new Chief exuded confidence of steering the party in the forthcoming assembly elections in various states later this year and expressed the hope to see formation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime led by BJP in the next general elections.

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